Maxillofacial prosthetics is a branch of dentistry that deals with congenital and acquired defects of the head and neck. Maxillofacial prosthetics integrates parts of multiple disciplines including head and neck oncology, congenital malformation, plastic surgery, speech, and other related disciplines.
Patients diagnosed with oral cancer will undergo careful preoparative planning that includes establishing a good oral hygiene level, restoration of decayed teeth and root scaling. When the lesion is located in the upper jaw mandating a partial or full maxillectomy, a presurgical (immediate) obturator is fabricated for placement during surgery. Upon completion of the supplementary treatment (chemotherapy, radiotherapy) the surgical obturator is replaced by an intermediate obturator, allowing for better speech, mastication and aesthetics.
When the lesion is located in the lower jaw, a radical alveolectomy with preservation of mandibular continuity or a lateral resection of the mandible followed by titanium plate and bone graft restoration is usually the treatment of choice. Mastication and aesthetics are then restored using dental implants and fixed or removable prostheses.
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